Monday, June 26, 2006

Maybe It's The Hellmouth

If you read yesterday’s post you might think that Buffy was unsuccessful at closing the Hellmouth under Sunnydale and it had moved up the coast to Eureka. Naturally, this is what I thought and I laid in bed awake all night last night hoping that Buffy would come to my rescue, and maybe hang around afterwards. No such luck.

As to whether I really did fall through a trap door in hell, or if the hellmouth has reappeared remains open to speculation. I think it is safe to safe, though, that heat played a big part in my problems yesterday. The carbide blades on the router bits cut through the marble fine. The problems were with the constituent parts. As the bits cut through the stone they heated up past their tolerance and began to fly apart.

I can think of two ways to deal with this. The first would be some sort of lubricant. If I could lubricate the bit so it did not get so hot this would solve the problem. However, I can’t think of an effective way to do that since the bit is cutting down in a groove and the router is on top of the groove. The other way is to just work slower. Instead of trying to go through all in one shot I will take breaks.

The bearing on the Freud bit lasted about 12 or 14 inches before it disintegrated. If I cut 4 or 5 inches and then let it cool down I should be able to cut the remaining 24 inches with out a problem. I’ll just find other things to do while it’s cooling. In this house, that’s not a problem.


Joan said...

I have no expertise in this, but I remember on This Old House when they used to cut bathroom tile, they did it with water running over it to cool it. Maybe...?

Greg said...

Yep, that would do it, except (There’s always and except) I don’t think my router is designed for water - shock. Also, I’m doing this in the kitchen so the water would be a little messy. The marble is too big to move around, and after it’s cut it could very easily break.

Gary said...

Pretend you are a city worker for a day. Work for five minutes. Stop, take a coffee break, have a cigarette, take a nap for 30 minutes. Then come back and work for another five minutes, take a break etc., etc. You know the routine.
A drop of oil on the bearing might help.

Patrick said...


No expert here, but do they not have "diamond encrusted" router bits that might be used for stone? What do they use for routing the names of dead people in tombstones?

As I said, not an expert, and don't really have any answers, but I'm interested in your solution, as I may be doing a similar thing soon.

Greg said...


Yes, they do and I was going to talk about this in the next blog entry. If I was doing it over I would definitely invest in a high-speed diamond bit. They are pricey. When I did my test with a short section a few months back with the carbide bit it worked fine. In fact it still does. The carbide cuts the marble fine and in my test I only did a small section. It’s the bearings that gave me all the trouble. They are just not designed for this. I’m sure the diamond bits have higher quality bearings. I’m also willing to bet when they cut stone these days they are using pneumatic routers that have a jets of water to clean and cool as you cut. Live and learn.

Patrick said...

"Live and learn."

I've "learned" a lot on my project..and if I did it again, I would do many things differently...But then again, I plan on croaking in this home, so hopefully, I won't have to do it again and I can forget everything I learned... :-0

Best of luck with the marble...We are going to be installing some in our kitchen soon, but I'm lucky enough to have a friend "in the bidness" who's going to do much of the installation. I might try a small "project" for both bathrooms. I look forward to learning more from your experience. Thanks for the reports.

merideth said...

so you already know you're one of my favorites. Now that you've included a Buffy reference i dont know how i could think of you as anything less than awesome!

Greg said...

I miss that show.